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Like most people, I’ve amassed a brain full of pointless trivia. Obscure film facts, actor names and birth years but never useful stuff. Never mathematical equations or scientific principles. Unfortunately, I’m salty that my brain has taken to hoarding trivia but I will try to keep this review of What Came First, objective.
What Is It?
What Came First is a trivia game where players split into teams and bet on which of two options they think came first. Monster Munch or Quavers? The winning team move forward as much as they bet. The losers move back as much as they bet. If you’re confident you can also place a bet on the year space and get a huge boost if you’re right. That’s the long and short of it.
But before I go into personal opinions, I have to mention the glaring problem. What Came First is littered with typos. That matchup in the title – Alton Towers vs Betty White – is a card in the game. The answer on the back is Thorpe Park. And it’s not the only one. Each game we’ve played so far has had at least one typo.
Is It Any Good?
Moving back with wrong guesses gives What Came First some length but it also creates a stuttering pace. Most matches involve sticking around the starting line until someone guesses the year right and jumps forward an extra five spaces. If you’ve ever played snakes and ladders, just imagine that there are no neutral spaces. And that knowing whether Liverpool or Everton were founded first matters.
Personally, I dislike trivia games. Knowing big historical events like those in Timeline is good. That feels like flexing the ol’ grey matter. This, not so much. It’s a pub game, the type of game that requires a bunch of disparate interests from each team to win. Or, in our case, randomly plucking a year from the dusty recesses of the trivia attic and shooting off to the end.
To make matters worse, Big Potato’s usual high quality is nowhere to be found. Aside from the poker chips, the components feel cheap and tacky and the premise sounds like something lifted from “Top Ten Hen Do Games For The Terminally Boring”.
If you’re a fan of trivia and like being able to say “I know when that was!” then What Came First might offer some joy. Or just get a quiz book from Asda and draw a board on the back of your Cornflakes box and you’ll get pretty much the same experience.